Government Bill to monitor telephone, e-Mail and postal communications at Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government has drafted a bill that would permit the surveillance of telephone and e-Mail communications while making it compulsory for service providers to install the enabling equipment on behalf of the state.

The Interception of Communications Bill 2006 seeks to empower the chief of defence intelligence, the director-general of the Central Intelligence Organisation, the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to intercept telephonic, e-Mail and cellphone messages. The bill would also empower state agencies to open mail being conveyed through the post and through licensed courier service providers. The bill stipulates that operators of telecommunications services will be compelled to install software and hardware to enable the interception and storage of information, as directed by the state.